President Trump sent alarm bells ringing almost immediately after taking office when several important sections of the White House website disappeared.
Content regarding LGBT rights, civil rights, climate change – regulations and Spanish-language pages disappeared, and the Trump administration added a new sentence about the United States’ “dangerous anti-police atmosphere.”
The President has sent out mixed messages on climate change over the years. Who could forget his now infamous Tweet claiming that it was just a hoax created by the Chinese to give them a manufacturing advantage over America.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
The frequent climate change denier was back at it in 2013, when he crudely concluded that climate change was a hoax because he was cold in Los Angeles.
Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013
And now he’s finally in the White House, he’s set to launch a major assault on Obama’s climate-change legacy by instructing federal regulators to tear up key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.
The executive order will remove, re-write and review several measures that were key to Obama’s efforts of combating global warming. It’s thought the Trump administration will review the clean power plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions at coal power plants; and also remove the requirement that official consider the impact of climate change in decision making.
“The policy is in keeping with President Trump’s desire to make the United States of America energy independent,” said a senior administration official who briefed reports on the pending executive order on Monday. “When it comes to climate change, we want to take our course and do it in our own form and fashion.”
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2014
A Guardian journalist asked the senior official if President Trump accepted the science that climate change is being caused by humans. “Sure, yes, I guess, I think the president understands the disagreement over the policy response and you’ll see that in the order tomorrow,” the White House official replied.
Many of the rules and regulations that Trump is attempting to eradicate are binding under the Paris climate agreement, rendering any changes to policy a long road. “I would bet a good deal, I’m sure there’ll be litigation… Whether that’s three years, two years or one year, I don’t know. It’s going to take some time,” the official acknowledged.
Under the Paris climate agreement of 2015, the U.S. agreed to cut it’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. Obama’s clean power plan was the policy put in place to achieve these reductions, and was described as “strongest action ever on climate change by a U.S. president.” The plan was also criticised for its attack on coal plants – a major employer in large part of America.
Trump has repeatedly questioned whether climate change is underway, and whether or not it’s accelerated, or even caused, by humans. That coupled with the fact that 75,000 in the U.S. are currently employed in coal-fired power plants, has ensured the President has long been dismissive of regulation, and plant closures.
These new measures are going to be as tricky to get over the line as Trump’s majority-muslim travel bans. Numerous national and international players are involved, not to mention large industry sectors and environmental groups, ensuring any changes will be arduous to achieve. But will Trump seemingly hellbent on denying climate change, it’s likely to be just a matter of time before he gets his way.